group working on computers.

RDM Community Workshop generates pan-Canadian institutional dialogue

At the end of September 2023, the University of Waterloo hosted a two-day Research Data Management Community Workshop. Joining in were 110 participants from 40 Canadian academic institutions, federal agencies, and research institutes spanning from British Columbia to the Northwest Territories, Quebec, and Newfoundland. Holding roles in the library, research administration, and IT, the participants represented the broad cross section of perspectives involved in RDM support. 

Key speakers and panel discussions focused on RDM from a Canadian context and from a researcher’s perspective, including presentations on Indigenous Data Sovereignty, Indigenous RDM, RDM and ethical considerations, and embedding good RDM practices in pan-Canadian research projects. 

Using the Chatham House Rule to facilitate open, inclusive conversation, participants were also led through a series of open-ended dialogues focused on challenges, working strategies, and best practices at their institutions. The notes from these discussions will inform an upcoming thought paper that will make recommendations about next steps for the research data management community. Some key areas of interest include:

  • Developing a robust, cross-speciality community of practice for those supporting RDM in libraries, IT and research administration in all types of research institutions
  • Building community knowledge and practices in key areas of RDM, including data management plans, data deposit, and Indigenous Data Sovereignty
  • Developing a shared base of knowledge, resources and training opportunities which is available to all Canadian researchers and RDM-related professionals
  • Engaging with the Tri-Agencies, the Digital Research Alliance of Canada and other regional and national organizations to ensure that the funding and infrastructure necessary to support RDM is available
  • Ensuring that all voices are heard as RDM practices develop, including those of researchers, students, Indigenous communities, and the range of community partners in research

Special mention to the organizers of this workshop: Alison Hitchens (Waterloo), Ian Milligan (Waterloo), Beth Namachchivaya (Waterloo), Jennifer Abel (Calgary), and Caroline Hyslop (Ottawa), with volunteers Sandra Keys (Waterloo), Christina Yee (Waterloo), Vicky Chung (Waterloo), and Rachel Manes (Western). 

The event was made possible in part by generous support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.  Our thanks also to in-kind and cash support from the University of Waterloo, University of Calgary, University of Ottawa, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, OCLC, Compute Ontario, and the Digital Research Alliance of Canada.

For more information, contact institutional-rdm-workshop@uwaterloo.ca.

Workshop participants speaking in table groups

RDM Workshop participants in dialogue groups on Day 2. Picture credit: Jennifer Abel